NOW

White. Stark glowing white. He looked around the room and tried to stand, but couldn't make his legs unfold, couldn't let go of the death grip he had on the arms of the pristine cane chair he found himself in. The room was illuminated with harsh unnatural intensity, but there were no light fixtures. Bare walls, bare ceiling, no other furniture or windows, as if he was in a 12x12 box.

Anxiety crept in quickly. He couldn't quite place his name, but he knew himself. He knew he didn't belong here, that people would miss him. Someone. He couldn't recall the faces.

He paused and looked around as he felt unseen eyes on him. Scanning the room there was nothing, but he knew with a surety that he was not alone.

He made a valiant attempt to stand. There was no plan for what to do if he could get up, but he wanted to get out of this place. No luck.

"Hello?" he yelled. Nothing. He waited.

O0o0o0o0o0o0o

2 HOURS BEFORE

Sam refused to acknowledge the holiday. For years he had a wish list in his mind for what the perfect Christmas season would be. He didn't even remember it any more. For one brief instant he had thought he would have his first real "normal" holiday. He had been in love. That was over. Nothing lasted, that was just the way life played out. At least his life. As the day itself approached, he felt the sting of that brief instant of longing. He should have known. No, he had known and he had let himself hope anyway.

They had driven into the quaint Rhode Island town earlier in the week. The place was so rural that there was only one option for a motel. It wasn't bad really. Clean enough with cable and internet access. He had slept in far worse. They were working a case centered around a string of antique shops. Cursed objects was their first thought.

Castiel had popped in to help them. He didn't understand the appeal some humans found in antiques. Sam figured when you were thousands of years old, a two hundred year old clock was less than impressive. For a celestial being he was surprisingly clumsy in enclosed spaces so antique shops were an absolute nightmare. He also had the tendency of touching and examining everything. It got old very fast.

One of the shops, No Place Like Home, had a psychic reader on Wednesday evenings. It was a good place to start. The three had headed in to look for anything that would raise a red flag indicating it was the place harboring the curse.

It was tight and cluttered, but wonderful in its own way. Sam had wandered to the back of the main room and picked up a beautiful amber hairpin. His mind drifted for just a minute and he imagined himself coiling up the long dark hair he dreamed about before fastening it with that pin.

He was jarred out of his thought when Castiel backed into a display and a box of rhinestone jewelry exploded across the floor. The sound felt like a gunshot.

He was done.

He excused himself and headed back to the motel leaving Dean to help clean up the mess while he reassembled himself. Holidays. What a pain in the ass.

He turned on the shower and wandered to the window as the water warmed up. He could see the glow of the Christmas lights hung along the street reflecting in the thin layer of frozen snow. He closed the shade.

Sam startled again as the door of their room slammed open against the wall. Castiel barged in, frenzied and disheveled. "Is he here?" he blurted out.

O0o0oo0o0o

Dean apologized for his friend, squatting down gather the scattered jewelry. Castiel promptly backed into another display. HE quickly turned to steady the teetering mass of collectables, averting another mini disaster. The owner smiled at Castiel reassuringly and began to help Dean pick up the mess.

The bell at the door jangled, admitting two more shoppers into the cramped space.

"Ive got this." Dean said at his most charming.

"Thanks so much, just throw it on the counter and I will set it all straight again." She said before standing and greeting the newcomers.

Grabbing the last few earrings from under a metal stand, a familiar sight caught his eye. A ceramic angel sat on top of a box slid under a display. He felt a grip in his chest as he reached for it. For the first four years of his life he saw that angel's face over his bed. It felt cold in his hands as he stood. For just a second he heard his mother's voice in his head ..."angels are watching over you"...

He need that statue. He had no place to put it. He needed it.

Putting the box of jewelry on the counter he looked around for Castiel. He spied his friend awkwardly questioning the alleged psychic who was about to commence her readings. She looked at him with a kind sympathetic look on her face as he continued to ramble.

He saw her sit Castiel down at a small table and begin to pull the Tarot cards in a line. Her look quickly turned to puzzlement and then shock before she looked up at the angel in alarm.

Dean picked up the angel and rifled for his wallet, he felt compelled to own it. To wrap it up and hide it in his bag as a personal memento of his mother. He motioned the owner over to him and placed it on the counter between them. She picked it up and looked at it, turned it over before looking up at Dean.

"Where did you find this, it doesn't look familiar." She asked.

"At the top of the box under that table...I saw it picking up the mess. It is for sale right?"

"Well yes, everything is for sale, its just odd, I do all the acquisitions myself. But I guess that doesn't matter. Shall we say... five dollars?" she said

Dean pulled out the cash and payed for his angel. He looked over his shoulder and saw Castiel rambling at the psychic, oblivious to the anxiety it was causing the poor woman. The taro cards were gripped in her white knuckled hands, and Dean was quite sure she was scanning the room for the nearest exit.

Looking back at his purchase, he became lost in thought. "Mom," He said, "I wish..."

White exploded behind Dean's eyes as he felt himself drop away.